Commotio is one of Oxford's foremost chamber choirs, formed in August 1999 to provide a refreshing alternative to the more readily available repertoire offered by most other choral groups, performing primarily lesser known material of the 20th and 21st centuries. Matthew Berry, the founder and conductor of the choir, enthusiastically promotes the work of a younger generation of composers, as well as bringing to the fore little-known works of more established writers. In short, Commotio offers singers and audiences alike something a little different.
Eric Whitacre writes:
"Commotio's concert ... bore all the hallmarks of this extraordinary choir - a fascinating mix of different styles by mainly contemporary composers, all showcasing these singers' remarkable rapport and range of techniques.."
Nicola Lisle, Oxford Times June 2009
"This is a recording that demands to be heard: an extraordinary young choir and an outstanding cellist..."
Ivan Moody, International Record Review March 2008
"This is a very good choir..."
Robert Matthew-Walker, Musical Opinion, March 2006
Commotio at Radley College, Oxford, during the recording of Luminosity in July 2009
Photo courtesy of Miranda Bertram
Members of Commotio are selected by audition from students and residents of Oxford and the surrounding area (and sometimes beyond!). We perform to a high standard, as evidenced by the performance of works such as Alfred Schnittke’s mighty Requiem, and the vocal acrobatics mastered in Darius Milhaud’s Les Deux Cités. The choir varies between 20 and 30 in number, depending on the requirements of the repertoire. We are based in central Oxford for the majority of our rehearsals and concerts. Performances usually number four a year, one at the end of each university term with one additional somewhere in between. Often the additional concert takes place outside Oxford, and in April 2005 we made our first visit to the Abbey Church of Dorchester-on-Thames. The choir also performs the New Year’s Eve concert biennially at Douai Abbey near Reading.